Our Mission

To provide students with a balanced education of the body, feelings, will, and intellect in preparation for using life’s diverse challenges to discover ever-deeper levels of purpose, meaning, and happiness

Our Vision

To support teachers, parents, schools, and others who nurture the comprehensive and profound types of growth that are addressed by the Education for Life principles

Education for Life Schools, Associations, and Interest Groups

What it takes to become an Education for Life School

An Education for Life (EFL) school has been recognized by EFL International and demonstrates an ongoing commitment to meet the following criteria:

  • teacher and director certification
  • onsite visits by EFL representatives
  • annual participation in an EFL conference
  • staff exchanges with other EFL schools
  • local EFL programs for staff and parents
  • payment of an annual fee

Starting an Education for Life School: An interview with the founder of Lila School in Slovenia

Current Education for Life Schools & Associations Worldwide

*The appellation “Living Wisdom School” refers to schools that follow the Education for Life philosophy and were founded under the auspices of Ananda Sangha.

In Slovenia, Education for Life has been accepted as a government-funded option within the public school system. All the other schools are privately financed.

Associated Schools and Interest Groups

Associated schools* actively integrate the EFL philosophy into their educational programs. Education for Life Interest Groups are dedicated to furthering their understanding of EFL through teacher and parent development training and hosting EFL presentations.

Portland, Oregon, USA

The goal of education is the same as the goal of life: to help children become, on every level—heart, mind, body, and spirit – more balanced, mature, effective, harmonious, and happy. We are in the process of expanding our school facilities. (Learn how you can help) Contact info: Tel: (503)671-9112, 4855 SW Watson Ave, Beaverton, OR 97005

Palo Alto, CA, USA

Parents seeking the best school for their child generally give first priority to academic excellence. At the same time, they value a school where the children enjoy learning. Too often, these goals appear to be in conflict. But at Living Wisdom School, academic excellence and joy go hand in hand. Contact info: Tel: (650) 462-8150, 456 College Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306

Nevada City, CA, USA

Our unique programs, based on Education for Life Philosophy, are carefully designed to meet each individual’s need, to prepare students for life’s inner and outer challenges and to encourage a rich, lifelong journey of adventure and self-discovery. Contact info: Tel. (530) 478-7640, 14618 Tyler Foote Road, Nevada City, Ca 95959,

Seattle, Washington, USA

There is no better way to understand our philosophy and who we are than to visit us in person. Learn how Living Wisdom School inspires joy in learning and gives children an Education for Life! Contact info: 6717 212th St SW, Lynnwood, Lynnwood, WA 98036; Tel: (425)772-9862)

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Otroke učimo umetnosti življenja in sodelovanja, vzporedno pa jim predajamo tudi znanja iz tradicionalnih predmetov.

Assisi, Italy

La Living Wisdom School Assisi segue la bellissima pedagogia di Educare alla vita; essa si fonda su un approccio olistico all’educazione, che sostiene lo sviluppo personale del bambino in tutti i suoi aspetti: corpo, sentimenti, intelletto, volontà e spirito.

Education for Life Associates

Michael Nitai Deranja

Nitai is the co-founder, with J. Donald Walters, of Education for Life (EFL) International. In 1972 he started the first EFL elementary school and in 1997 co-founded the first EFL high school. He is the author of two books: For Goodness’ Sake: Supporting Children & Teens in Discovering Life’s Higher Values and The Art of Joyful Education. Nitai has two wonderful adult children, both of whom attended Education for Life schools.

Susan Usha Dermond

Founder of the Portland EFL school. She is the author of “Calm and Compassionate Children“, Co-author, A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum,  Eloquence in Silence, and created the online Education for Life teacher training courses. She has Masters degrees in Education and Library Science.

Karen Bharati Busch

Bharati was the first teacher at Portland Education for Life School She had experience in typical and special education, preschool through high school, in rural and urban settings. At the Portland school she taught  K-3rd for fifteen years. She now assists in the office, provides one-on-one instruction, and assists with on-line teacher training.

Irene Sanchez Schulman

Irene co-founded the first EFL high school, and served as co-director there. She has given Education for Life presentations and teacher development classes in Slovenia, USA, and Italy. Presently she offers online EFL teacher training courses for English and Spanish speakers. Visit her blog.

© Copyright - Education for Life International